Something was going on at Las Vegas Sands’ Singapore resort. Now the casino operator has hired a legal consulting firm to probe cash transfers.
According to a Bloomberg report, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) had hired Davinder Singh Chambers LLC to check employee transfers to third parties. It involves over a billion dollars in gamblers’ cash.
Just a few months ago, Sands reached an out-of-court settlement with Wang Xi, a former MBS high-roller. He sued the company over a transfer of his funds to the tune of SG$9.1m (US$6.6m) without authorization. The company said it had letters bearing Wang’s signature.
Apparently, such transfers of are commonplace in the Asia-Pacific casino market. It is exacerbated junket operators. It forces Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) to step in.
Sands launched an internal probe after the CRA expressed interest in the Wang case. Then they uncovered over 3,000 instances of fund transfers between MBS customer accounts and third parties. It came to some SG$1.4b.
Some of the staff were handing SG$763m in transfers, leading the CRA to find weaknesses in MBS’ casino control measures.
The US Department of Justice had subpoenaed a former MBS compliance chief in June regarding suspected “money laundering facilitation”. The result was a hefty $7m penalty against Sands’ Asian operations.
In other Sands news, founder and CEO Sheldon Adelson is said to be spending between $20m and $50m to boost Donald Trump in his 2020 campaign. Most of the donations will go to a Preserve America, a pro-Trump political action committee. But some speculate that Adelson will not in fact dole out the funds.